Time for the second instalment over on my vlogging channel! I had filmed and planned for a different video to go up today, but then Hollie, from Hollie Sews, came up with the Seamstress Tag and I thought it would be a nice way to introduce myself over on YouTube, so this video has been bumped up the queue!
Hope you enjoying hearing a little bit about me and my sewing world, and if you manage to still be watching halfway through, I have a little person who joins me (he woke up from his nap!). Thankfully he was very well behaved and I managed to get through all the questions easily enough.
In my last vlog I suggest that it may be easier to sit and chat about my sewing than taking photos for blog posts....and I fear that seems to be the case! I had planned on taking photos of a number of finished garments for the blog last week...and managed to take zero!! The weather has been a bit rubbish and I have nowhere decent in the house for photos...so I need to rethink how I can do this...we shall see...I'll figure something out I'm sure!br />
Hello everyone! I had a little break from blogging there while life was getting very hectic. There have been a few changes around here, which I'm sure I'll get into another time. Instead, today I wanted to talk to you about something different...
Do you watch YouTube videos? I'm sure you do! I have been a YouTube addict for years, mainly feeding my addiction with beauty vloggers (I swatted up on how to do my own Wedding make-up by watching You Tube) and occasionally ASMR (if you haven't heard about ASMR, don't judge too quickly...it is so relaxing!!), but recently I have been binging on all the amazing sewing vloggers that have emerged. In the past, the sewing videos on YouTube were all mainly informative tutorials, often a bit too amateurish for my enjoyment (sorry, but just being honest). However, over the past year I have seen a new style of sewing videos emerge - the sewing vlogger. These lovely ladies basically just sit and chat about their sewing plans, their sewing makes and just general sewing chat...which is wonderful to watch!
And so, I thought I would bring you a list of my top 10 sewing vloggers. In no particular order, please go and check out:
1. Sew Over It
Lisa Comfort may be the Queen of sewing vloggers, and no doubt the inspiration for many of the following channels. She has been uploading wonderful sewing vlogs every friday for years and I look forward to them every week!
Jen shares her lovely makes and sewing plans in a very matter-of-fact way, perhaps due to her scientific background, and I am always inspired by seeing what she has made and what her future sewing plans are.
The always happy and super sweet Rosa has been sewing for a long time, and has a plethora of beautiful makes which she has shared with us on her channel.
4. Inside The Hem
An American sewing vlog, this channel is brought to you by two lovely ladies, Abbey and Lindsay. Its great to get an American perspective on all things sewing related and they always have lovely things to share.
The very bubbly Gabby is definitely taking the sewing vlog world by storm, even though she only started vlogging about 5 months ago! Her videos are always great to watch and she makes lovely things so I'm not in the least bit surprised.
6. Little Miss Lorraine
Jess vlogs over in Australia and uploads a video every Sunday. Again, it's lovely to see what the sewing scene is like in another part of the world and her videos are great.
7. Clueless Seamstress
We head over to Wales now, and the lovely Leigh. Although her channel might be called The Clueless Seamstress, I really don't think she lives up to that name because she has made so many wonderful things, including trousers, and they are not easy!!
8. Hollie Sews
Hollie is another vlogging newbie, only starting about a month ago, but she already has over 7 vlogs up on her channel and has even come up with a fantastic Seamstress Tag, which has been great fun to watch! Keep up the great work Hollie!
9. Kittenish Behaviour
Sian has killer sewing skills, and a killer body (ever so slightly jealous of that tiny waist!!). She makes the most gorgeous fit and flare dresses out of beautiful fabric, you definitely have to check them out if you haven't yet!
10. The Fold Line
Connected with The Fold Line online sewing community, Kate and Rachel bring us very informative vlogs about the latest sewing pattern releases, behind the scenes at sewing meet-ups as well as sewing book reviews.
These are by no means the only sewing vloggers out there, merely the main ones I watch. Please do let me know if you watch any other vlogs that you would recommend, I would love to know of more!
Speaking of which, perhaps I could suggest number 11:
Eep...it's me!! Certainly a little bit nervous about putting myself out there...I hope you guys enjoyed my first vlog and are able to leave me a little comment or 'thumbs up' over on YouTube. I have lots of plans for future vlogs so I do hope I am able to make them!
Gosh guys, where does the time go? I can't believe we are half way through June, and half way through the year already! I've been a bit quiet on the blog because I started back to work this month. Even though I am only working 3 days a week in June I haven't had very much free time because for the first two weeks we (Robin, Luke and I) have been staying with my parents so that they could babysit Luke and now we have the In-Laws staying for the last two weeks to take over babysitting duties. So life is pretty full at the moment.
As well as June marking my return to work, it was also my babies first birthday! How did that happen?! We marked the occasion with multiple helium balloons (I've always wanted an excuse to buy a huge bunch of helium balloons...like the kind you draw as a child), a trip to a local Pizzeria for a family birthday dinner (Luke loves pizza! But he mustn't have got the memo because he fell asleep as soon as we arrived!) and then this Sunday we had both sets of Grandparents over for a bit more of a party and went out for lunch. Robin and I had deliberated over holding a large birthday party for Luke, inviting all our friends and family, but decided that there would be many years for big birthday parties and perhaps we should just keep the first one simple. I did, however, decide to bake a couple of birthday cakes for Sunday. A large chocolate one for the adults and a small carrot cake for luke to 'smash' and enjoy all to himself. I am not much of a baker (to say the least!) and these two cakes took me pretty much the whole of Saturday to bake and decorate (photo in the collage above). It was a beautiful sunny day and Robin and Luke were making the most of the weather by going on bike rides, strolls along the beach and relaxing in the back garden. Come Sunday and my little man woke up in the worst mood ever, screaming the place down with terrible teething pains! Our little birthday party consisted of soothing a very sad little boy, trying not to disturb other diners in the restaurant during lunch and then eating cake on our own while Luke finally got some sleep. I never did manage to get photos of him 'smashing' his cake and we didn't even get to sing 'Happy Birthday' to him! Poor little guy. Anyway, the reason why I'm sharing this story is just that I learnt a valuable lesson from it. Although home baked cakes are wonderful (and I was very fortunate to have one every year for my birthday growing up), they do not define a birthday and looking back now, I wish I had just bought a god-damn cake and spent that lovely sunny Saturday with my two boys instead!
As well as a couple of photos from Luke's Birthday I've also shared a couple of sewing related photos above. The top right is a sneak peek at my most recent make, a really lovely floaty maxi dress that I made for my holiday to Spain. I've managed to wear it a few times recently, but never had the opportunity to take decent photos of it for the blog unfortunately. The bottom right is a straight skirt that I have had languishing in my stash for over a year (I made it before I became pregnant with Luke!!!), but I need to hem it. Man I hate hemming...I really don't know why! Is there any particular sewing step that you procrastinate on? I'd love to know! Anyway, now that I can fit into the skirt again I thought I had better get on that hem. I still haven't done it...
So, I've covered the updates and the cats, now, as the title to this blog post suggest, that just leaves me with the sewing plans! And if you have managed to stay with me until now, I would also like to call upon your help and suggestions please. I took the head staggers last Friday night (is that a Northern Irish phrase, head staggers? Or have you heard of that before?!) and after watching Lisa Comforts latest Vlog (which, by the way, if you don't follow, you simply must! Monthly updates on her fabric hauls and sewing plans followed up showing of her sewing makes. Fantastic!) and ended up buying 3 meters of the most gorgeous cotton/linen fabric from her shop (Sew Over It). She had mentioned on the vlog that she had a very limited quantity of the fabric and imagined it would sell out quickly, and she was right, because it is now no longer on her site! I did, however, find a screen shot of it on the Sew Over It Twitter feed:
A-MAZE-ING! As soon as I saw it I knew I needed to get some and decided that I would attempt to make a dress for an upcoming wedding that I'm going to...on the 14th of July...eek! So here in lies my problem, what to make with it! Because I have very limited time (less than a month, plus I'm back at work, plus I have a one year old) I don't want to tackle anything too difficult, such as trousers (but wow, palazzo pants in this??!), collars, buttons, plackets. I also would ideally like some arm coverage because I'm just not a fan of my upper arms at the moment.
My initial thought was a maxi dress and the Anna dress from By Hand London. But it doesn't have sleeves (although I have seen some folk add sleeves and it looks great) and I'm worried that the super large print might loose some of it's effect by all of the panels in the skirt - what do you think?
And so began my epic trawl through all the patterns of the World....or so it felt! Finally I came across Simplicity 8047 which I absolutely love (above right) but again the dress is actually made up of panels and I think the print will be ruined by that. And then I discovered Simplicity 8137 (above left and centre). I really love the maxi version of this wrap dress, which I think would lend itself really well to the linen fabric, and it doesn't seem to be a panelled skirt so the pattern would work. However, the sleeveless maxi apparently requires more than 3 meters of fabric, which is all I have (and they are sold out, so I can't get more). Add to that the fact that I would probably like to add sleeves and I am doubtful I would have enough fabric. But I have bought the pattern anyway because I love it so I shall see if I might be able to eek it out of 3m. I'm keeping positive about it because we all know how generous the sizing is on Big 4 patterns!
But if anyone can suggest any other patterns which they think the floral fabric would suit then I would love to hear. All suggestions and thoughts are very welcome.
So back in February I was getting all excited about finding my new style and was making plans for some Spring Sewing. I did pretty well and managed to crank out two out of the four items that I made plans for (check them out here and here). Then my parents threw a spanner in the works by inviting Luke and I out to Spain with them for a week in May. With a lovely hot holiday to look forward to I suddenly got the urge to skip straight to Summer Sewing and since my new body (post baby) is definitely not ready for short skirts and shorts I thought the best route would be maxi dresses.
I had spotted the most gorgeous navy blue and white tie dye fabric on the Ditto Instagram feed and instantly had to have it (following fabric shops on Instagram is not good for your wallet - very good for their marketing! lol). I have two approaches to owning fabric...I either purchase it, make multiple plans for it but then squirrel it away, occasionally taking it out to swoon over and stroke lovingly, but end up too scared to cut into it, or I get it back to my house, wash it and getting cutting and sewing as soon as possible! The former is the norm, but the latter was exactly what happened with this fabric. I had quite a specific plan for this fabric as soon as I saw it online, but when it arrived it turned out to be a bit heavier than I imagined and I was worried my grand plan wouldn't work as well as I thought. But I decided to go ahead with it anyway. Its a cotton linen mix, and I suppose the linen gives it a heavier drape, but the cotton and the print mean that it doesn't crease as much as 100% linen (or it doesn't show) which is great.
The plan was a maxi dress with a gathered flounce on the hem. I tried searching for a suitable pattern, but couldn't track one down that I was completely enamoured with, so decided to cobble my own together instead! I had always wanted to make a dress using the By Hand London Flora bodice (variation 2) because I thought the straight, high neckline would really suit me, so I thought this might be the perfect opportunity.
Because my time is very limited these days and I just don't have the energy to make toiles/muslins to test patterns I just tissue fitted the Flora bodice and decided it would be a decent enough fit to just go for it with the tie dye fabric. I cut a straight size UK16, but added an extra inch or so to the length, to lower the waistline. Ironically I subsequently ended up taking out about an inch there in the final fitting, so I should have just left it alone! It was a great fit around my bust at the front, but I did have to play with the zip placement a bit. I thought I had a lot more extra fabric in the back than I really did and my first time inserting the zip made the bodice too tight. I REALLY didn't want to unpick and re-sew but since I couldn't really breathe I knew it would be foolish to leave it. For this project I finally got around to using my new invisible zip foot - oh my goodness, they are brilliant! Definitely the best invisible zip I have ever sewn, and so easy to use. I highly recommend getting one if you don't already own one.
I didn't want a lot of gathers at the waist (I've mentioned before how I don't think that is a flattering shape for me) so the skirt is made as a sort of A-line, with the waist being just slightly wider than my actual waist measurement and then widening out to slightly less than the width of the fabric. I only had two meters of this fabric so I had to be a bit frugal with my cutting and could only use the width of my fabric as the bottom flounce, which was made by cutting rectangles, gathering and attaching to the hem of the skirt (advanced pattern drafting right there! lol).
The bodice is lined with a lovely light weight white cotton from my stash (I bought about 5m one time specifically for lining summer clothes!) and the hem of the skirt is actually sewn with a blue ribbon, turned up and hemmed. I decided to hem it like that to reduce bulk as I think a double turned hem would have been to heavy.
So, what is my overall opinion of the finished dress? Actually, I'm not sure. I've included the photo above of me messing around with the scarf as a belt because I think perhaps a belt would divide up the dress nicely and be a little more flattering. Without one I feel it's a bit too much a sea of blue and actually a bit boring. The dress is really comfy to wear and I love that the fabric doesn't crease much, or show creases much. However, I feel that I may be chopping into this dress and maybe making the skirt a bit more pencil with a knee-length flounce instead of a maxi - what do you think? As I said, the fabric is quite heavy and I actually got a bit hot wearing it (even though the weather is Spain was abysmal while I was there), so shortening the skirt might help.
I made one more dress for my holiday but I didn't get any shots while I was away so need to take a few photos of it for the blog - hopefully soon however I'm back to work next week. I can't believe that my year-long maternity leave is nearly over. It will be heartbreaking to leave my little Luke for the day but I have to admit there is a part of me looking forward to it - partly because I'm now scheming up lots of work appropriate sewing plans!